High occupancy at Brooklyn Navy Yard pinches growing room

Jobs at the industrial park have nearly doubled since 2001, straining expansion capacity

From left: Brooklyn Navy Yard entrance and Steiner Studios rendering
From left: Brooklyn Navy Yard entrance and Steiner Studios rendering

The 99 percent occupancy rate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard would seem like an indicator of the venue’s success. There’s just one problem: tenants are running out of room to grow.

The industrial park has renewed 16 leases since January. Among the bunch are companies that have grown their work forces considerably over the course of a decade. Military equipment supplier Crye American, for one, started with a handful of employees in 2002 and now employs nearly 200, Crain’s reported. And the total number of jobs at the yard have nearly doubled from 3,600 to about 7,000 since 2001.

“Our tenants are looking to expand,” David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of the Navy Yard, told Crain’s. “Our challenge as a landlord isn’t turnover, it’s finding space for the people that want to grow in the Navy Yard.”

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To find that space, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation will build out 1.8 million square feet of additional space for existing and new tenants. The expansion will be funded with $200 million in city infrastructure spending and a $6 million infusion from the state, according to Crain’s. The state money is intended to support green manufacturing at the Navy Yards.

Last year, the city and state increased spending on Steiner Studios to fund a 170,000-square-foot expansion at the Navy Yard.

At least one sizeable lease could free up in 2017. B&H is likely to move its 300-person operation upstate once its contract is up. [Crain’s]  — Tom DiChristopher